As you know, I bought a bike and got a flat tire. Fast forward two weeks. I replaced the tube and brought a pump along for a second try. Alice and I got to the trailhead and put the bikes on the ground ... clunk. I didn't just have a flat--my tire was blown completely off the rim, and the inner tube had a six-inch split. I had inflated them and left the bike in my car outside for 24 hours. The heat must have overpressurized it. I should have known better, but frankly, I was eager to get on with it.
I don't remember bike ownership being this much of a pain in the ass. When I was in high school and college, I routinely did 20-mile rides and hardly ever did any maintenance besides cleaning and oiling the chain. I rode a bike to my classes several times a day every day all through undergrad and grad school. What gives?
Of course, where I live now, I can't just put on a helmet and hit the road on two wheels. The curbs, potholes, intersections, and general pedestrian-unfriendliness all make it necessary for me to drive my bike somewhere from my home or office before I can ride. This is less convenient and makes it less likely I'll do it regularly. For the same reasons, I prefer to lift weights at home rather than go to a gym.
I think I have to fight this demon on my own. I'm not going to take Alice on another wild goose chase until I've got it working.